The Fort of Banne
Located 10 kilometres from our camping in Ardèche, Banne is a small Ardèche village of character, composed of two perched villages, separated by a valley of cultivated terraces : one built around its Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens church, the other around the vestiges of one of the most opulent medieval castles.
The old medieval castle town forms the current district of the fort. Perched at an altitude of more than 300 metres in the commune of Banne, It houses the ruins of this Ardèche castle, destroyed in 1792, and preserves intact the sublime stables. Over 50 metres long and 8 metres wide, they are surprisingly large. A must-see during your family holiday in the Southern Ardèche!
History of the castle of Banne
The castle of Banne began its construction during the 12th century. As is often the case with medieval castles, it was refurbished in the 16th century to become a luxurious lord’s house. This building was so large that it was customary to say that it had as many windows as there are days in the year. In 1792, the counter-revolutionary army of the Count of Saillans occupied it. The castle of Banne was eventually burnt down and almost destroyed. What remains today is a large part of the ramparts, the ruins of the main fort and a defensive tower and of course, the magnificent underground stables. The remains of the ground floor make it possible to identify the main rooms of the castle and take the measure of all its opulence of formerly. The kitchens are particularly easy to locate among the rubble.
Visit to the medieval village of Banne
In July and August, guided tours of the medieval village are offered and the castle’s rivers : they consist of a one and a half hour guided walk through the cobbled streets of the castle town, with the discovery of the stables and the history of the fort. The meeting point is on Tuesday mornings at 10 am in the car park between the two perched villages.
The situation of the fort of Banne is ideal to embrace the Ardèche landscape: an orientation table makes it possible to locate the visible elements in this incredible panorama: the Alps and in particular the Mont Ventoux to the east, the Tanargue massif on the north side, or the 16 km2 of the old Païolive wood, at the foot of the Cévennes.
The exceptional site of the stables regularly hosts exhibitions and cultural events: concerts of jazz, classical music, world music or gospel; theatre plays or photo exhibitions. The fully restored bread ovens of the castle are regularly lit by the association of the friends of Banne, which is very active in the development of the site.
During your stay in the southern Ardèche, you can also make a quick trip to the Pont d’Arc cave in the regional nature park of the Ardèche gorges, but also visit Alba la Romaine and some of the most beautiful villages in France!